Written By Rachel Gersten
Oh hey, it’s another new normal! What is this, the new new new new normal? Needless to say, I think we’re all frustrated that this is yet another curveball in what seems like a never ending pandemic.
But, as this amazing video has reminded us, we’re not done with this COVID shit yet.
This new super fun variant, Omicron, has a lot of us doing mental gymnastics. We’re in a better place with vaccines (and boosters!) than we were at this time last year, but it’s also clear that there’s a higher risk than there was even a month ago. So what to do?! Hopefully the questions below can help you assess your risk and figure out what, if anything, needs to change for you.
How am I feeling right now?
Gut check time. How are you feeling? Assuming you’ve done your part and have gotten vaccinated and boosted, a lot of this is going to be based on your own personal risk assessment. Unfortunately, there’s been some shaming about people who are wanting to lock it down and take more precautions in the face of this variant. If you’re feeling more cautious, that’s FINE. If you’re feeling pretty calm, that’s also fine. Before you do anything else, check in with what’s going on in your body regarding all of this change. That can make the decision feel a lot easier.
Am I spending time with vulnerable people?
As we talked about on the podcast, your behavior should accommodate the most vulnerable people in your life. If you share a living space with a higher risk person, you should default to their comfort level rather than yours. This may extended a little further if your holiday plans include those who would be more in danger if they were exposed to COVID. Check in with your loved ones and assess if you need to scale back in order to keep the most vulnerable in your group safe, even if it’s more caution than you would take personally.
How important are my plans?
Because we’re operating under the assumption that you’re vaccinated, boosted, and a good citizen, all of these potential precautions may just be extra precautionary. So how important are your plans? Are they worth the potential risk? Seeing your family member who lives overseas and hasn’t been able to visit in two years may be. A holiday party with co-workers may not be. If you’re going to take a risk, the ends usually need to justify the means. During these higher spikes, it can be helpful to prioritize what activities (both with others and solo) are the most important to you. The things that fall on the top of the list might be worth being less cautious, whereas things that fall towards the bottom may not be.
Can I make adjustments?
Can your holiday plans, for example, be altered rather than canceled? Maybe that becomes a happy medium. It might not be exactly what you wanted, but there could be a situation that’s better than nothing. If you can adjust to create a safer version of whatever it is you want to do, that’s probably the best case scenario.
However you’re managing Omicron, I’m just going to drop the reminder to take care of yourself.
This is hard, frustrating, and has gone on for way too long. Do what you need and know it’s okay to change your mind as the situation changes. Here’s to a (hopefully) new year filled with a lot less pivoting.